Recently, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners revoked the license of a Passaic County physician after it found that he had disregarded restrictions on his license. The doctor worked at a spine rehabilitation center, where he performed pre-anesthesia assessments for patients and follow-up consultations with surgery patients. However, both activities were prohibited by restrictions placed on his license due to medical malpractice payments made on his behalf in two cases. He was then ordered to undergo an evaluation, and was prohibited from providing direct medical care or prescribing medications.

Medical malpractice occurs when the doctor or other medical professional breaches a duty of care towards his or her patient in correctly diagnosing the illness or prescribing the right medication. This can result in further illness, injury, or death to the patient. A patient may sue the doctor for damages based on the doctor’s negligence, and the hospital may also be liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior. What this means is that the hospital is vicariously liable for any tortious conduct committed by a doctor it employs if the doctor was acting within the scope of his or her employment.

Laws restricting a physician’s ability to practice are enacted for the safety of patients. But other laws restrict a patient’s ability to bring a malpractice suit. Physicians and hospitals are often protected by laws that limit, or “cap” the amount of damages that a patient may receive in a malpractice suit. Also, a malpractice suit can be forever barred from court if it is not commenced within the time period set out in the applicable New Jersey statute of limitations.

Medical malpractice can have very serious consequences, depending on what is misdiagnosed. A patient may be injured, have an illness prolonged, or even die due to a physician’s negligence. Anyone who has been a victim or has had a loved one injured by a doctor’s negligence is entitled to file a lawsuit medical malpractice. The victim may seek monetary compensation in the form of damages.

Source: WaynePatch.com, “Medical License Revoked from Pompton Lakes Doc,” Ariana Cohn-Sheeran, Jan. 10, 2013.